Facebook launches comprehensive Holocaust education resource

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Facebook launches comprehensive Holocaust education resource

Social media giant will 'connect users to authoritative information' about the Shoah in a bid to counter misinfirmation, while TikTok permanently alters its app to fight denial

Facebook (Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)
Facebook (Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

Facebook has launched a comprehensive Holocaust education site in a bid to battle Shoah denial and misinformation.

As people around the world pause for thought on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the social media giant announced it will “connect Facebook users to authoritative information” about the genocide amid rising online antisemitism.

This comes as vlogging site TikTok made changes to its search function on its app, so users looking for terms relating to the Shoah are served with educational information.

Facebook’s initiative was developed in partnership with the World Jewish Congress and UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The social media giant’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said “we are proud to partner with them to help people learn the facts about the Holocaust and hear the stories of those who survived.

“At a time of rising hate and intolerance, taking time to read and reflect on what happened to Jews and others in Europe is more important than ever.”

The resource will direct its 2.7 billion users to a fact-finding website, AboutHolocaust.org, which provides detailed responses to fundamental questions about the Nazis and how the Shoah unfolded.

WJC President, Ronald S. Lauder, warned against rising “Holocaust denial, distortion, and the spreading of conspiracy myths” which “have become cornerstones in the vicious incitement of antisemitic hatred on the part of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other extremist forces”.

Saying the WJC is “deeply gratified” to work on the project, will “contribute greatly to promoting tolerance and empathy as the antidote to resurgent antisemitism, xenophobia, bigotry and hate.“

Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, said the project  is key for “equipping people with the skills they need to refuse the hateful logic of antisemitism, racism and hatred, and to challenging those who seek to exploit ignorance.”

Meanwhile TikTok announced it has made changes to its app, so users searching for terms relating to the Shoah will be redirected to educational information.

The initiative has been created in collaboration with the Holocaust Educational Trust, the Antisemitism Policy Trust and the Community Security Trust, and was launched to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day.

The social media site made permanent changes so its users can “access verifiable, authoritative sources of information” about the Holocaust.

This comes after it announced a crackdown on harmful and extremist content late last year.

Elizabeth Kanter, its Director Government Relations and Public Policy UK, said: “Hate has no place on our platform, and we know there is more we need to do to keep it off. That’s why, as well as working with our partners, we will continue to improve our policies, processes, and products to keep TikTok a place where everyone feels welcome and safe. ”

A spokesperson for the Antisemitism Policy Trust said: “We are pleased to be able to work with TikTok to ensure that, when it comes to learning about anti-Jewish racism and the Horrors of the Holocaust, the platform is able to spread the light of education.”

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